Christmas Series Sermon Study: Session 9 (Fall 2023)

Session 9 – Small Group Study Guide

Download: PDF | Download: Word Doc

Review of Sermon Notes

Key Idea: Gospel grace leads to joy in generosity

  1. The gospel lovingly calls us to generosity
    • Remember that giving is normal, expected Christianity
    • Let giving be a spiritual barometer
  2. The gospel beautifully illustrates generosity
  3. The gospel powerfully offers us hope in our generosity
    If you want to grow in generosity, grow in your walk with God (examples: prayer and accountability).
    • Don’t fuel your faith in money
    • Fuel your faith in Christ

Word: How this truth should be understood

  1. In 2 Corinthians 8:1–5, Paul presents the churches of Macedonia as an example of generosity for the Corinthians to follow. Then, in 8:9, he presents the example of Jesus. What are some observations that stand out from these verses?
  2. In verse 7, what are the things Paul says the Corinthians excel in? What seems to be his point in bringing up these Christian virtues? 
  3. In verse 8, it’s interesting to note that Paul doesn’t command the Corinthians to give, but he says that giving is a way of proving their love is genuine/real. What does this tell you about the close connection between the gospel and giving? 

Worship: How this truth affects your heart

  1. In the sermon, it was said that often our worries with generosity come down to this: “If I give away, I will have less for myself and my family.” How have you seen this to be true for your own life? How does the gospel transform this?
  2. In our text, we see how important it is that we meditate upon Christ. If we fail to meditate on Christ, our hearts will be drawn to materialistic tendencies and desires. Take time to create an inventory of how you fuel your mind on possessions — i.e., are you scrolling through social media, constantly looking for new deals, constantly checking out your portfolio, etc.? How does this compare to how often you meditate on and think about Christ?
  3. Can you share a time that you felt joy in generosity or were blessed to be on the receiving end of generosity?

Work: How this truth works out in your life

  1. If you have kids, how might you encourage them to be generous this time of year?
  2. Spend some time this week praying and evaluating your giving (you won’t share this in small groups!). If you are married, discuss with your spouse. Try to answer this question: How can we/I be generous with what we/I have? Be specific.
  3. Take time to read, meditate, and pray over the following prayer from Every Moment Holy entitled: “A Liturgy Before Giving I” found in Appendix A. Let this be a starting point of fueling your heart to grow in generosity.

Sharing and Prayer

  1. As you think about this season and our study in Galatians, what is one area in which you’d like to grow in living out your faith? Write this down and prepare to follow-up and track God’s work in our future sessions!
  2. What are some ways that you’d like to apply what you just learned to that one area you’d like to grow in living out your faith?
  3. Share other prayer requests.

Appendix A – “A Liturgy for Giving” from Every Moment Holy

In truth, I have nothing but you, O Christ,
nothing that I might call my own.

so let that good confession now
compel a better stewardship.

First teach me to treasure
you, Jesus, above all things. Then
let that increasing devotion be
increasingly demonstrated in a joyful
generosity – for to give is to live out
the declaration that you alone
are my provision and supply. I need
not fear what comes tomorrow.

When I give to meet the needs of
others, when I give to the work of
those who serve the poor, the sick,
the oppressed, when I give to the
service of your Body and your
Kingdom, I give not what is mine,
but only what is already yours. With
every charitable act I am simply
practicing the fact that nothing which
passes through my hands has ever
belonged to me. Your are my generous
master. Make me your faithful trustee,
teaching me to live as a wiser conduit
of this liberal grace, learning
to hold loosely the things of
this world, never hoarding that
which is yours, never seeking
the mean preservation of my
own comforts. Rather let me love
well in my giving, even as you,
O Father, have loved me so well
by giving me all things in Christ.

Let me make each offering without
thought of temporal gain. Let me give
precisely because I have believed
your promises are true – and let
my giving be the proof. If you
are my shepherd, then I am freed
to live generously, knowing
I will never want for any
needful thing – knowing that any
seeming deprivation is but
the work of your Spirit weaning
me from a world of things and
winning me to greater dependence
upon Christ my King.

So why should I grasp at that which I cannot
keep? This body will sleep in death and what
I now hold so briefly will pass into the keeping
of another. I own nothing here. I have no claim.
Dispel the myth of my possessions, lest they
taint that better hope of Heaven.

Rather let me learn, while I draw breath,
to live with open hands and
joy-filled heart, investing your resources
in your good works. Let me plant
these mortal seeds in expectation
of immortal harvests.

Bless now, O Lord, this gift and its benefits,
that it might be received as evidence of
your mercies, and multiplied in effectiveness
for your kingdom. Through this and other acts
of giving, train my heart toward a greater
generosity, that the habits of my stewardship
might be ever more pleasing to you, and ever
more expressive of your holy heart
and passions.

All that I have is yours, Lord Christ.

All that I have is you.

Use then this small gift
for works of love and mercy,
and unto the increase of
your glory.